Matthew 20

The Parable of a Landowner

Matthew 20:1-16

Jesus told this parable (story): (1) “For the kingdom of heaven (God) is like a landowner who went out early in the morning (before 6 a.m.) to hire men to work in his vineyard. (2) He agreed to pay them a day’s wage (a denarius) and sent them into his vineyard. (A work day was normally from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

(3) “The landowner went out again about 9 a.m. and saw men standing in the public market doing nothing. (4) He told them, ‘You also can go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you a day’s wage.’ (5) So they went out to work.

“The landowner went out about noon and again at 3 p.m. and hired more workers. (6) The landowner went out again about 5 p.m. and found more men standing around doing nothing. So he asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’ (7) They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us to work for them.’ The landowner replied, ‘You also can go and work in my vineyard.’

(8) “When evening came, the landowner told his foreman, ‘Call all the workers and pay them their day’s wage—beginning with the last ones hired to the first ones hired.’ (9) The workers who were hired last came and each received a day’s wage. (10) So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more money than the others, but they also received only a day’s wage.

(11) “When they received their pay, they began to complain to the landowner. (12) They said, ‘Those hired last worked only one hour, and you gave them a wage equal to ours, even though we did most of the work and worked through the heat of the day.’

(13) “But the landowner said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a day’s wage? (14) Take your money and leave. I want to give the same wage to the one who was hired last. (15) Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

(16) “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Jesus Speaks About His Death and Resurrection

Matthew 20:17-19 (Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34)

(17) Now while Jesus was walking up to Jerusalem, he took his Twelve Apostles away from the people and said to them, (18) “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will be delivered over to the Jewish chief priests and teachers of the law of Moses. They will condemn him to death (19) and will turn him over to the Romans to be mocked and flogged and crucified. But God will raise him to life on the third day!”

The Mother of James and John Makes a Request of Jesus

Matthew 20:20-24 (Mark 10:35-41)

(20) Then the mother of apostles James and John came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling before him, she asked him a favor. (21) Jesus asked, “What is it that you want?” She said, “Let one of my sons sit at your right and the other sit at your left in your kingdom.”

(22) Jesus said, “You don’t know what you are asking me.” Jesus said to James and John, “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” They answered, “Yes, we can.” (23) Jesus said to them, “You will drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places of honor belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” (24) When the other 10 apostles heard about this, they became angry (jealous) with James and John.

Become a Servant of All

Matthew 20:25-28 (Mark 10:42-45)

(25) Jesus called his Twelve Apostles together and said to them, “You know that the rulers of the non-Jews lord it over their people, and their high officials exercise authority over them. (26) But this is not true with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (27) and whoever wants to be first among you must serve all others—(28) just as the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom payment for many people.”

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

Matthew 20:29-34 (Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43)

(29) As Jesus and his disciples were leaving the city of Jericho toward Jerusalem, a large crowd followed them. (The winding road from Jericho to Jerusalem was around 18 miles/29 km long and ascended about 3,000 feet/914 meters through the dry desert. The journey would have taken around eight hours of uphill walking).

(30) Two blind men were sitting by the road, and when they heard that Jesus was walking by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (31) The people tried to stop the blind men from yelling and told them to shut up, but they shouted even louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

(32) Jesus stopped and called out to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” (33) They answered, “Lord, we want you to heal our eyes.” (34) Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes, and immediately they could see, and followed him.


Matthew 20

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Matthew 20 February 1, 2015